A virtual mailbox service can be your best friend. They’re great for people who travel a lot or otherwise find it difficult to pick up the mail as often as they would like.
- Traveling Mailbox will scan labels from mail and parcels you get and upload them to a dashboard where you can review them.
- Earth Class Mail scans your mail, emails the scans to you, forwards what you need, and securely shreds the rest.
- iPostal1 boasts over 900 physical addresses for you to choose and also lets you come pick up your mail at your location.
- Sasquatch Mail has a slightly different pricing structure than the others, which will be better for some customers.
What a Virtual Mailbox Service Does
The way these services work may seem complex at first, but it’s simple.
- You set up forwarding from one of their physical addresses (most services offer several of these). This is a matter of completing an official form from the US Post Office.
- Then you tell everyone who sends you mail to send it to your new virtual mailbox address, which the service will give you. Or you can use the USPS mail forwarding system, but read here on why you might not want to trust the post office with mail forwarding.
- You mail starts going to the virtual mailbox, and they scan the outside of each envelope for you to look at. Then you tell them with each piece whether you want it forwarded, want the internal pages scanned, or want it shredded.
- Yes, you can continue using your real address for important mail or anything you want and just use the virtual one to catch the junk mail.
Who Needs Virtual Mail?
Virtual mail is great for frequent travelers. You may be RVing around the country or jet setting around the globe. Or you may just spend a lot of nights away from home as part of your job.
Instead of dealing with the post office and vacation mail stops, or asking a neighbor to grab the mail for you, your service does all the work.
It’s also great for those who can’t receive FedEx or UPS parcels where they live. Your virtual mailbox service can bundle up a bunch of these packages and then forward them to you as needed.
And these services also help those who can’t pick up their mail as often as they need to. For example, you may work late most evenings and live in a courtyard apartment where the mailboxes aren’t well-lit. If you don’t feel safe grabbing your mail, this might be the option you’re looking for.
Or maybe you don’t have a very secure place to receive parcels, and you’re concerned about someone stealing or damaging them.
And then there’s the home-based small business owner, freelancer or solopreneur. These services can give you a legitimate business address to show to clients or the world at large without exposing your home address.
Virtual Mailbox Services
Traveling Mailbox will scan labels from mail and parcels you get and upload them. You can then choose whether you want them to (a) just shred it, (b) open it and scan the contents of paper mail or (b) forward the mail/parcel to you.
This is especially good if you move or travel a lot and don’t ever want to have to update your address with anyone except Traveling Mailbox. They can even deposit checks for you, for an additional fee.
Each plan includes a certain number of recipients, a certain number of mail pieces they will receive each month, a certain number they will scan, etc. If you go over plan limits, there are extra fees, and if this happens often it would probably make sense to upgrade to a new plan.
They give you 12 physical mailing addresses to choose from, all in the mainland US. There are several to choose from in California alone, making this a particularly good choice if you want a California address.
Traveling Mailbox will also deposit checks for you into the bank of your choice, for an additional fee per check.
Integrations: Traveling Mailbox integrates with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote, and Box.com.
Earth Class Mail has changed their plans and price structure, so if you’ve looked at them before and thought they were too expensive, take another look now. Their new plans are much more competitive for individuals and households.
Their service includes receiving your mail at their Beaverton, Oregon facility address (there are other addresses available on the more expensive individual and business plans). They have HIPAA certified technicians handling your mail, adding additional peace of mind if you choose to let them handle your medical mailings.
When you look at the scans of your envelops online, you tell Earth Class Mail what to do with each piece. You can instruct them to trash and recycle junk mail, deposit checks (for an extra fee), download important documents to save, or forward to your attorney, accountant or colleague.
With each plan, you get a monthly limit of how many mail pieces they will receive each month, how many scans you will need, etc. You probably want to pick your plan based on the number of recipients who will be getting mail.
Start with the lowest plan that has enough recipients, and upgrade if you need to later.
Integrations: Earth Class Mail integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Bill.com, Box, Google Drive and others.
iPostal1 is competitively priced, and even more affordable if you pay for an annual plan up front. Plans are based on how many pieces of mail you expect to receive.
All the plans allow 5 recipients for a personal household or for business, 4 recipients plus a business name. This should be enough for most people. If you need more, you can set up an additional mailbox.
This service offers over 900 physical addresses for you to choose. And unlike most services, this one allows you to come and pick up mail at one of their facilities. Pick one near you if that’s an option you’d like to have.
Check depositing by mail is available for a fee. You can also receive faxes via iPostal1.
Integrations: iPostal1 lists no integrations on their website at this time.
Sasquatch Mail offers similar services to the others, but with a different pricing structure. The monthly fees are lower, but then you pay a small fee for each piece of mail you want scanned or physically forwarded.
If you rarely need anything scanned or forwarded, this could be a great bargain for you. There’s also no limit to how many pieces of mail they will receive for you, which will be great for anyone receiving more mail than the plans other services offer.
Sasquatch Mail offers 4 different physical mailing addresses around the US: Deleware, Florida, Idaho, and Wyoming.
At the time of writing, Sasquatch Mail does not offer check depositing services. You can always have checks forwarded, and then deposit them via mobile deposit yourself.
Integrations: Sasquatch Mail does not list any integrations on their website.